In a continuation of my recent hiking-only prescription, I headed down FS 289 with my Mom and Matt to go explore Tent Rocks National Monument. Along the way we stopped to peer down into Cochiti Canyon
After driving 16 miles of dirt road between the paved highway 4 down to the paved road near Cochiti Pueblo we arrived at the Tent Rocks Natl Monument and the trailhead for the only established trails in the monument. Clearly the recent economic stimulus money has been put to good use in this area.
OMG, first tent rock sighting!
Really impressive. I wonder how long that's been like that and how much longer it will stay put...
We started up the Cave Loop trail, a 1 mile loop hike
Cholla with new growth
A out and back trail heads off the loop up through a slot canyon and up to the mesa top giving hikers a view of the tent rocks from above
This tree clearly has a strong will to survive. It's awesome to see the tap root and surrounding roots exposed like this
The entrance to the short slot canyon. Very cool
Mom heads into the slot
The striations in the rock are awesome
In the slot we had a cool view up this eroded chimney
Mom and Matt standing below a huge chockstone in the slot
After the slot the canyon opened up again before curving back to the left
More cool tent rocks
Manzanita bush in the foreground made for some nice color in this shot of badass tent rocks
At the head of the canyon the trail makes and abrupt change of personality and heads up steeply to the mesa top.
Looking towards the Sangres with a gaggle of cool tent rocks in the foreground
Looking across to FS road 289, the road we drove down on
At the mesa end is this great vantage of the tent rocks and slot canyon we passed through on the way up
Group shot at the mesa overlook
Tent rocks on the return trip
Same shot but in monochrome and cropped a bit
Once we got back to the Cave Loop trail we continued along the loop into territory we hadn't been on. I'm sure there's a name for this formation...
The Cave! Native Americans dwelled in this cave. The black roof in the cave shows the signs of fire-burning in the cave.
Once done with the hiking we drove up the main road to the newly renovated Veteran's Memorial Scenic Overlook. They're doing some serious upgrading here complete with shaded picnic tables, a nice loop trail and this fancy overlook. The granite chunks were trucked in, though.